Pocky & Rocky is an arcade style scrolling shooter with a top-down perspective for the Super Nintendo. Pocky & Rocky was released in Japan in 1992 as Kiki Kaikai: Nazo no Kuro Manto ("Mysterious Ghost World: The Riddle of the Black Mantle") and globally as Pocky & Rocky one year later in 1993. The game is the sequel to the Japan-only Arcade game KiKi KaiKai, which also saw a NES/Famicom spin-off. The protagonists in Pocky & Rocky are a shinto shrine girl named Pocky (Sayo-chan in the original Japanese) and her good friend Rocky (Manuke), who is a tanooki, or raccoon dog. The names of these two characters obviously inspired the game's title. The game had two sequels, Pocky & Rocky 2 on the SNES and Pocky & Rocky with Becky on the Gameboy Advance.
Once upon a time in feudal Japan, Pocky is tending to the shrine at which she works on a dark, seemingly average night. She is visited at the shrine by Rocky the tanooki, and a number of insane nopino goblins, controlled by an unknown force. Pocky and Rocky jump into action, setting off on a journey across Japan, taking on mythical Japanese monsters. They eventually meet Black Mantle, who has been controlling these creatures, and defeats him, saving Japan and its people.
The gameplay is a classic top-down shooter style, where players view their character from a bird's eye view, and control their movement and aim where they shoot. The characters shoot enemies and obstacles, Pocky with cards, and Rocky with leaves. Both characters also have a close up attack (Pocky uses a wand, Rocky his tail) which hurts enemies and rebounds projectile attacks. Most enemies take one or two hits to be taken down, and
bosses are much tougher. Each player has life of their own, and they must avoid being hit, or else they will lose a life. The game begins giving players a set number of lives that, upon depletion, will result in a game over. Players receive points for good performance, and at certain score milestones, can gain additional lives.
Both characters have special attacks which are used when the short range attack button is held. Pocky will spin, hurting all enemies surrounding her, and Rocky will become invulnerable upon turning into stone. Once per life, characters also have a super attack which will hit multiple enemies on the screen.
Players can also perform a quick slide maneuver in order to move quickly across the stage, however, if players collide while sliding, they will spin out of control. This damages the player, but can also damage enemies while the characters spin.
Power-up collectibles are scattered throughout the game's various levels, each of which provide a boost to the combat proficiency of both Pocky and Rocky. Some of the power ups will make their projectiles larger in size, make the player shoot more projectiles. There are also items which will recover life points or make the character invincible. Whenever a player collects an items, they will gain points for their feat.
Pocky & Rocky has three levels of difficulty: easy, normal, and hard. With each increase in difficulty, enemies become tougher and more numerous, and bosses will gain additional life. There is no reward for completing the game on harder levels.